Ann Robertson in this article originally published in 2002 takes up the arguments often used by reactionaries to present a caricature of what socialism really is. Stalinism is often invoked as if that were genuine socialism. Ann explains what socialism really is.

In a socialist society, workers will be in a position to decide which kind of investments are required to promote the social well-being of the majority; for example, quality education, housing, public transportation, health care, cleaning up the environment, developing solar energy, organic farming, etc.

There are many bourgeois historians who believe that history is made by “Great Men and Women”, kings and queens, statesmen and politicians. It is this unscientific approach that Marxism is opposed to. However, Marxists do not deny the role of individuals in history. History is made by people. But we need to uncover the dialectical relationship between the individual (the subjective) and the great forces (objective) that govern the movement of society and see this role in its historical context.

More than a decade ago, with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the strategists of Capital launched an unprecedented ideological offensive against socialism and Marxism. For them, capitalism had won. However, what had collapsed was not socialism, but a system of bureaucratic rule, i.e., Stalinism. Nevertheless, this ferocious offensive had the effect of starting an ideological stampede to the right within the working class movement internationally.

"At the dawn of the New Millennium, the possibility of a new vista of human advancement or the most horrific of calamities lay before us. The potential for mankind, which the new technologies open up, could allow us to establish a classless society built on co-operation, harmony and superabundance, a true paradise on earth. However the capitalist system based upon private ownership and the nation state still stands in our way. If allowed to continue, it will mean economic depression, chaos and terrible "local" wars."

We are reproducing a slightly edited version of What is Marxism? by Rob Sewell and Alan Woods, last published in 1983 to celebrate the centenary of the death of Karl Marx. The three articles on the fundamental aspects of Marxism, Marxist Economics, Dialectical Materialism and Historical Materialism were originally published separately in the 1970s. These articles are a good, brief introduction to the basic methods of Marxism and can serve as a first approach to the ideas developed by Marx and Engels.

To mark the anniversary of the death of Karl Marx, Alan Woods has wrote a short piece about Marx's contribution to human thought and to the struggle for the emancipation of the working class. Together with this we have included the text of Engels' marvellous speech that he gave at the grave of Karl Marx.

A Marxist answer to the utopian idea that we can achieve peace through disarmament without doing away with the capitalist system - as relevant today as when it was first written by Lenin.

One hundred and twenty years ago - on March 14 1883 to be precise - Karl Marx, one of the greatest figures in human history, died. Despite over a century of attacks, distortions and attempts to belittle Marx's contribution, no-one can doubt that he dramatically altered the course of human history.

Violent conflict is on the increase all over the world, both in terms of wars between nations and violent clashes between the classes. While war is waged in the Middle East we also see a growing tendency to use more brutal measures against the workers in struggle, with many being killed around the world. What should the position of Marxists be on this question? This has been the subject of debate within the PRC in Italy with Bertinotti taking the position that no form of violence is justifiable. Dario Salvetti gives a different answer.

In 1947 the Labour Party decided to reprint the Communist Manifesto, with an historical introduction by Harold Laski, to mark the document's centenary. We're reprinting the foreword to reflect just how significant Marxism has been within the British labour and trade union movement. The Labour Party didn't see the Manifesto as just another historical document, as can be seen clearly in the text. It was a document vitally relevant to the policies of the 1945 Labour government.

This month marks a key anniversary in the development of scientific socialism. One hundred and fifty years ago the most famous document of the Marxist movement was produced: The Manifesto of the Communist Party, written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

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